Telenet Group Holding NV (TNET), the Belgian cable operator Liberty Global Inc. (LBTYA:US) seeks full control of, reported earnings that beat analyst estimates because of a release of bonus and fringe benefit accruals amid record mobile- phone customer additions.
Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization rose 8.5 percent to 200.1 million euros ($262.1 million) in the third quarter, the Mechelen, Belgium-based company said today in a statement. Analysts projected 197.6 million euros, the average of eight estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue rose 6.5 percent to 367.3 million euros.
Telenet gained 65,500 mobile-phone subscribers in the quarter, the most since the cable operator began offering wireless telephony in 2006, after the introduction of its King and Kong mobile rate plans during the quarter. About 16 percent of Telenet’s cable-TV clients have already switched to the company’s mobile service and Chief Executive Officer Duco Sickinghe said he expects customer gains to accelerate in the current quarter.
“As of next quarter, mobile telephony should overtake digital TV in showing the strongest revenue growth,” Chief Financial Officer Renaat Berckmoes told reporters in Mechelen. “From a free cash flow point of view, mobile telephony offers us a very interesting return on investment.”
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